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Option Spreads

An option spread is created when one option is purchased and another is sold simultaneously.  The two options typically have different strike prices or expiration dates, and the trader who placed the spread order only has to come up with the cash difference between the option being bought and the one being sold.  An option spread generally has a lower degree of risk and maximum profit potential than the outright purchase or sale of a single option.

Credit Spreads

Debit Spreads

Vertical Spreads

Iron Condor

Terry's Tips Stock Options Trading Blog

June 17, 2019

The Trade Desk (TTD) Has Doubled in Value YTD

This week we are looking at another of the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 List companies. We use this list in one of our options portfolios to spot outperforming stocks and place option spreads that take advantage of the momentum.

Terry

The Trade Desk (TTD) Has Doubled in Value YTD

TTD has had an impressing rally in the year thus far, and these two analysts think it can continue the upward moment

June 9, 2019

Has the Tide Turned for Five Below Inc (FIVE)?

This week we are looking at another of the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 List companies.  We use this list in one of our options portfolios to spot outperforming stocks and place option spreads that take advantage of the momentum.

Terry

Has the Tide Turned for Five Below Inc (FIVE)?

Several analysts are looking for more upside in FIVE, here are two of them – Hedge Funds Have Never Been This Bullish On Five Below Inc and I’m Sorry, But the Five Below Stock Selloff Is Overdone.

FIVE fell under a little bit of pressure after reporting earnings in the past week. However, the stock recovered on Friday, resulting in a bullish engulfing candle. This pattern often signals a reversal but what makes it even more significant is that the pattern occurred following a test of important support. Specifically, from the 200-day moving average and the lower bound of a trend channel. A second reversal candlestick is seen on a weekly chart that makes an even strong case that FIVE might turn higher from here.

If you agree there's further upside ahead for FIVE, consider this trade which is a bet that the stock will continue to advance over the next five weeks, or at least not decline very much.

Buy To Open FIVE 12JUL19 124 Puts (FIVE190712P124)
Sell To Open FIVE 12JUL19 127 Puts (FIVE190712P127) for a credit of $1.33 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when FIVE was trading near $127.50.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will only be $2.50 per spread (the rate charged by thinkorswim for Terry’s Tips’ subscribers).  Each contract would then yield $130.50 and your broker would charge a $300 maintenance fee, making your investment $169.50 ($300 – $130.50).  If FIVE closes at any price above $127 on July 12, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 77% (878% annualized).

Changes to Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 This Week:

We have found that the Investor’s Business Daily Top 50 List has been a reliable source of stocks that are likely to move higher in the short run.  Recent additions to the list might be particularly good choices for this strategy, and deletions might be good indicators for exiting a position that you might already have on that stock.

As with all investments, you should only make option trades with money that you can truly afford to lose.

Happy trading,

Terry

June 4, 2019

Amazon (AMZN) Is Testing a Major Technical Support Area, Is It Time to Buy?

This week we are looking at another of the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 List companies.  We use this list in one of our options portfolios to spot outperforming stocks and place option spreads that take advantage of the momentum.

Terry

Amazon (AMZN) Is Testing a Major Technical Support Area, Is It Time to Buy?

Some analysts did a double take this past week when a Piper Jaffray analyst said AMZN could reach $3000. Granted, his views are over a few years, but the article stands to spark some buying interest.  Take a look at the following article for full details – Can Amazon Really Reach $3000? You Bet.  Also take a look at this article which discusses an upside target from another analyst, and contains a video of Yahoo staff discussing the Piper Jaffray call – Amazon Stock Poised for Continued Growth; Here’s Why.

As indicated by the headline, Amazon is seen testing a significant support area.  Specifically, there are three items that are lined up to create a confluence – The 100-day moving average, 200-day moving average, and a horizontal level.  It’s quite rare to have all three lined up pretty much perfectly at the same price point and probabilities favor that buyers will be there to defend it.

If you agree there's further upside ahead for AMZN, consider this trade which is a bet that the stock will continue to advance over the next five weeks, or at least not decline very much.

Buy To Open AMZN 5JUL19 1770 Puts (AMZN190705P1770)
Sell To Open AMZN 5JUL19 1775 Puts (AMZN190705P1775) for a credit of $2.25 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when AMZN was trading near $1775.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will only be $2.50 per spread (the rate charged by thinkorswim for Terry’s Tips’ subscribers).  Each contract would then yield $222.50 and your broker would charge a $500 maintenance fee, making your investment $277.50 ($500 – $222.50).  If AMZN closes at any price above $1775 on July 5, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 80% (913% annualized).

Changes to Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 This Week:

We have found that the Investor’s Business Daily Top 50 List has been a reliable source of stocks that are likely to move higher in the short run.  Recent additions to the list might be particularly good choices for this strategy, and deletions might be good indicators for exiting a position that you might already have on that stock.

As with all investments, you should only make option trades with money that you can truly afford to lose.

Happy trading,

Terry

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TD Ameritrade

This Chicago brokerage firm with the unlikely name thinkorswim, Inc. by TD Ameritrade is considered by many to be the best option-friendly broker. For openers, they have extremely good analytic software and their option trading platform is exceptional. Thinkorswim Mobile has been called the best mobile app in the industry. In 2017, TD Ameritrade received 4 stars out of 5 in the annual Barron`s* Best Online Brokers Survey. TD Ameritrade was tops as an online broker for long-term investors and for novices. The company is the only broker that receives the highest 5.0 score for research amenities among all firms participated in the ranking last year.

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Options are not suitable for all investors as the special risks inherent to options trading my expose investors to potentially rapid and substantial losses. Please read Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options before investing in options

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